Commercial building systems are going to Net Zero Energy through a diverse set of technologies and management platforms. We partner with leading designers and building owners to drive scalable applications in retail, mixed-use and other small commercial building systems.

This four-year, $3.6M project funded by the California Energy Commission will target one of the “final frontiers” in California’s goal towards a Zero Net Energy (ZNE) future: grocery stores. The project will design and retrofit an existing Whole Foods Market in San Francisco, CA into the world’s first zero net energy (ZNE) grocery store. As part of the project we will be targeting new products and technologies to bring into our design with the goal to “design for scale.” Project partners include Whole Foods Market, Arup, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the City of San Francisco Department of Environment.

Additional detail on MarketZero available here.

The Small and Medium Building (SMB) Efficiency Toolkit and Community Demonstration program is a $2M CEC-funded program that will create a free, web-based toolkit to identify optimal energy saving retrofits and operational improvements for SMBs – helping small businesses better understand the choices available to reduce their energy bills based on their building characteristics, climate zone, and energy use patterns.

This toolkit will provide a building evaluation that assesses how facilities within a building affect overall energy use. It will also allow building managers to compare energy use to other bench-marked buildings in similar climate conditions to identify optimal energy-saving opportunities.

The tookit team has begun to collect energy usage information to provide essential data for the toolkit. Partnerships with cities will be leveraged to demonstrate the toolkit in some of the Bay Area’s medium-sized municipal office buildings.


  • Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Bay Area Climate Collaborative
  • City of Berkeley
  • City of Fremont
  • City of Oakland
  • City of San Francisco
  • City of San Jose
  • City of Santa Clara
  • C3


Broad adoption of the tool in the Bay Area could yield:

  • $5.3 million in energy cost savings
  • 38.2 GWh electricity savings
  • 0.4 M therms of natural gas savings
  • 36.7 million lbs of CO2e reduction


The boom in solar, storage and smart grid technology is giving rise to small-scale, distributed energy systems that work alongside conventional infrastructure. We are working with cutting edge firms to demonstrate a new wave of microgrid and demand management approaches.

Cal-Ops is a $5.2M state-wide program geared towards bridging the gap between California clean energy companies and institutional and commercial customers that rely on formal procurement processes to purchase clean distributed energy resource (DER) solutions and packages.

Partners: Energy Solutions, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Zero Net Energy Alliance, Local Government Commission, Ecomedes, TerraVerde Energy, ProQure™, California State University’s Chancellor’s Office, and third-party measurement and verification by ASWB Engineering

Local governments can save millions of dollars, reduce emissions and create jobs by moving to advanced lighting technology. The Bay Area Next Generation Streetlight Initiative provides leading-edge education, resources and guidance to local governments to accelerate the move to solid-state lighting (LED). The overarching goal is to catalyze the conversion of 200,000 streetlights in the Bay Area and deliver $50 million in cost savings and 100,000 metric tons of CO2 avoidance over 5 years.


  • Upgrade 200,000+ streetlights
  • 100,000 tons GHG reduced over 5 years
  • $10 million annual savings
  • Job Creation

Partners: PG&E, Siemens, American Electric Lighting, Bridgelux, Cooper Lighting, Sensity, Leotek

Tools and Resources for local governments interested in converting to LED streetlights including:

Proposition 39 aims to reduce operating costs of schools by funding energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Energize Schools is a holistic energy efficiency, conservation, and energy education program for K-12 schools. The goal is to make it easy for schools to benefit from energy efficiency and solar upgrades.

Energize Schools is a partnership of mission-driven non-profits, agencies and philanthropic partners aimed at supporting schools so they can achieve their best outcomes. Implementation activities are headed up by Strategic Energy Innovations, The Bay Area Climate Collaborative, PECI and Ecology Action.

The partnership supports school districts in maximizing the benefits of Proposition 39, a statewide 5-year, $2.5 billion investment in school energy efficiency and renewable energy, and provides support beyond the reach of those resources.

For more information, please visit

Sponsors and Partners

  • The San Francisco Foundation
  • Silicon Valley Community Foundation
  • Marin Community Foundation
  • US EPA
  • EcologyAction
  • Strategic Energy Innovations
  • PECI
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